At Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, we are proudly guided in our work every day by a mission that is passionately embraced and celebrated by staff, board and volunteers alike: To preserve and share our historic Estate and serve as a resource for educational, cultural and recreational enrichment.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution was transforming the very fabric of our nation, fueled by the genius and entrepreneurial spirit of innovators and visionaries like F.A. Seiberling. In 1898, he co-founded, with his brother, C.W., The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. F.A. and C.W. named the company for Charles Goodyear, and American self-taught chemist and the inventor who discovered the process for vulcanizing rubber, patenting his invention in 1844.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber soon became the world’s largest rubber company and it wasn’t long before the city of Akron became the “Rubber Capital of the World.” As Goodyear was on the rise, F.A. Seiberling and his wife Gertrude needed more space for their family to gather and grow. The answer was Stan Hywet Hall and it was virtually the house that rubber built.
The History of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens Has Many Beginnings
Built between 1912 and 1915, Stan Hywet Hall is one of the finest examples of the American Country Estate movement, which flourished during the Industrial Age. Unlike European country houses created by generations of title and wealth, American Country Estates were built by the wealth of self-made industry giants. Vanderbilt’s Biltmore, Rockefeller’s Kykuit, and Hearst’s San Simeon, are well-known examples. England provided the inspiration for the Tudor revival Manor House and service buildings, and also prompted the name of the Seiberling’s estate. Stan Hywet, is Old English for stone quarry, the property’s most prominent natural feature when the land was purchased.
The Estate became a beacon of progress for F.A. and his business associates, who often met here to discuss and negotiate the challenges of the day. It served as an international stage for well known figures in music, the arts and politics, and it was the site where daughter-in-law Henrietta brought together Bill W. and Dr. Bob for a discussion that led ultimately led to the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that has benefitted millions worldwide.
F.A. Seiberling's wife, Gertrude, established her own reputation as an accomplished artist, musician and patron of the arts. Stan Hywet’s design and décor were largely influenced by her personal taste. She applied her passion for gardening, music and the arts to help found Tuesday Musical and the Akron Garden Club, institutions that remain strong, vibrant and iconic organizations and supporters of the estate today.
Stan Hywet’s Impact on Akron
Stan Hywet is Akron’s first and largest National Historic Landmark, and is also the nation’s 6th largest historic home open to the public. It is an accredited museum of the American Alliance of Museums, one of only 26 in Ohio and one of only 776 in the United States. The Estate includes five historic buildings and ten historic gardens on 70 acres. The collections and furnishings in the Manor House are all original to the Estate.
Throughout their lifetimes, F.A. and Gertrude Seiberling set an unparalleled example to their children, who made the choice in 1957 to carry forward their parents’ generosity by gifting Stan Hywet to the Akron community. We follow the example set by F.A., Gertrude and their heirs as we usher it forward for the benefit of future generations. Above the Manor House entryway, the crest bearing the motto Non Nobis Solum (Not for Us Alone), welcomes guests as warmly today as it did a century ago.
Plan a day -- or every day to enjoy the diversity of tours, exhibits and activities at Stan Hywet. We look forward to welcoming you this season.